- Played March 2017
- New York
- 60 minutes
- 2-10 players
- $29 per person
- Age requirement 14+
- What People Say
Escape Entertainment has locations in NYC, Philadelphia and London. The NYC location is conveniently located in midtown, making it an ideal spot for the corporate outings, a locals’ night out, and even commuters. It was very easy to find, with the building well marked outside and elevators that take you directly into the facility on the 4th floor.
There was a corporate event taking place the night we played Alien Attack, and the spacious lobby was sparkling clean in preparation. They seem to have a solid niche in that corporate market and a great facility for hosting team building. A local caterer supplies food & drink and they take full advantage of their generous space. While we were not able to access the main waiting lounge due to the event, the secondary waiting area was comfortable and adequate, including some puzzles to tinker with. The bathrooms were very clean.
The same theme of clean and comfortable held true for the room itself and the overall experience, which held to traditional escape room formulas and made for an enjoyable experience, even if a bit on the sterile side.
Most of the Alien Attack room was in excellent shape, technology worked well and physical elements functioned as they should. We were warned that some elements (e.g., sliding doors) were fragile, so we had to adjust slightly how much “energy” we put into them. A few puzzle pieces were worn/broken, detracting slightly from one of the exercises but not a big issue. The big TV screen was underutilized and could have been used to bring the quality even higher. The room felt bigger than it was, due to comfortable layout and moving most of the game elements to the walls.
The puzzles were challenging but achievable, with a nice balance of technology with traditional hands-on puzzle solving. There was a good diversity of puzzles, none too easy, and made a bit more challenging due to the theme elements. Puzzle mavens will have an advantage as several challenges leveraged very traditional puzzle solving elements. For the most part the tasks were not interrelated, and that led to the group being separated, albeit still in a small room, but not needing to interact much. That would probably work well for larger groups that will end up breaking themselves into small sub-teams to work on different puzzles, in parallel, but not as good for encouraging full group interaction. While the puzzles were individually satisfying, there wasn’t much “wow” factor to solving them. Responses were straightforward and predictable. Not much “wonder” about what was going to happen next.
The environment of the room was immersive, well designed with theme relevant elements, sounds, mix of technology and physical items that gave the sense of a space station. Having everything written and spoken in Russian was a nice touch (don’t worry, no language abilities are required!). The technology was innovative, and offered even greater potential to add audio/video interaction to advance the storyline. Overall the storyline was easily forgotten, as the environment felt calm and lacked suspense or fear that would have been appropriate for an alien invasion. That certainly would make it more comfortable for diverse groups of guests and corporate teams, but not as exciting for experienced escape room fanatics. Lack of scavenging didn’t feel right either; on a Space Station we would have expected to have to look harder for some things we would need.
Overall the room was enjoyable and pleasant, satisfying and straightforward. There weren’t many highs in the form of exhilarating moments, but not many lows from frustrating puzzles or malfunctioning items either. Felt like “a job well done” that left us satisfied, but not likely to be talking or thinking about for many days afterwards. This seems like a good option for team building, corporate events, or something you could comfortably do with strangers without feeling awkward. It would have been nice to have some more collaborative moments and linkages between the puzzles, as each person only got to work on a subset, so more experienced visitors might prefer to go as a smaller group.